Story by Sarah Murphy Robertson
We are excited to announce a new way of fine dining on 30A. While our area’s many restaurant options are abundant, vacationing and special occasions often call for other exclusive culinary experiences. 30afoodandwine.com is collaborating with one of the area’s premiere chefs, Christopher Holbrook, to design incredible private dinners for up to 12 guests. These Signature Events will offer menus with a Gulf to Table theme; highlighting our area’s fresh coastal seafood and beautiful locally grown produce.
The first Signature Event was held in Seaside on November 17th and it was an exquisite experience from start to finish.
Wonderful wine pairings and a keenly decorated ambiance were further enhanced by Chef Holbrook’s expertly prepared five course meal and the evening was a great success.
With conversation and wine flowing, Chef Christopher introduced himself to the guests and conveyed his passion and philosophy for creating menus using our locally sourced products. He then presented us with an amuse bouche of Coconut Curry Lobster Bisque served in a shot glass and served with a lobster tempura skewer. The soup was rich and creamy and the bite of crispy sweet lobster perfectly battered and seasoned.
Next was the first course. Chef Christopher was excited to share the steps for the components of his Triggerfish Crudo with Watermelon. Lovely, crisp watermelon is soaked with vanilla bean and pressed to create a denser bite. While the delicate flavor of the fish comes through, his dish is also complex – complimented with swirls of heat, acid, and herbs using habanero oil, lime, red onion and basil.
The unique second course had the table buzzing with excitement. Fresh made sushi – known as the Boudreaux Roll – was made up of blackened grouper, cream cheese and crawfish. It was served alongside a quail egg sake shooter. The chef explained how he simmered ginger beer and sake to produce the warming, spicy shot. The quail egg when added becomes slightly poached. With bemused smiles we eagerly sampled the dish and found they played beautifully off each other: cold and hot, rich and zingy , sweet and spicy. This was a fun course and got the whole table talking.
Before long we were rewarded with yet another gem. The third course was a crab cake fashioned with copious amounts of smoked crab meat, served with a New Orleans’ styled spicy remoulade and a dragon fruit, mango and star fruit salsa. Again, the balance of textures and flavors on this dish were impeccable.
As the crab cake was a heavier course, Chef Chris’s next plate of Seared Local Black Pepper Tuna with mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, pancetta and basil and an aged cherry balsamic was gentler while still being full of bright and fresh flavor. The tempo and pace to our meal was as skillfully crafted as the food itself.
For our last course we were rewarded with a dessert that wowed the whole table. Angel food cake was griddled into French toast and layered with peppery, macerated raspberry compote and a raspberry chocolate truffle ice cream. This dish was rich, comforting yet also refined; a real masterpiece.
With personal access to one of 30A’s most talented chefs, a menu showing tons of range, creativity and technique and delicious wine pairings for every course, these Signature Events will impress and delight from every angle.
The next event is February 7th, 2015 in Seaside and registration is available via invitation only. So sign up for 30afoodandwine.com’s newsletter to receive information on how to reserve your seat to this coveted dining experience! Reservations are on a first come, first serve basis and will book up quickly.